Research article

Forest structure, diversity and soil properties in a dry tropical forest in Rajasthan, Western India

J. I. Nirmal Kumar , Kanti Patel, Rita N. Kumar, Rohit Bhoi Kumar

J. I. Nirmal Kumar
P.G. Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Institute of Science and Technology for Advanced Studies and Research (ISTAR),Vallabh Vidyanagar 388 120, Gujarat, India. Email: istares2005@yahoo.com
Kanti Patel
P.G. Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Institute of Science and Technology for Advanced Studies and Research (ISTAR),Vallabh Vidyanagar 388 120, Gujarat, India
Rita N. Kumar
Department of Biological and Environmental Science, N.V. Patel College of Pure and Applied Sciences, Vallabh Vidyanagar 388 120, Gujarat, India
Rohit Bhoi Kumar
P.G. Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Institute of Science and Technology for Advanced Studies and Research (ISTAR),Vallabh Vidyanagar 388 120, Gujarat, India

Online First: February 03, 2011
Kumar, J., Patel, K., Kumar, R., Kumar, R. 2011. Forest structure, diversity and soil properties in a dry tropical forest in Rajasthan, Western India. Annals of Forest Research 54(1): 89-98.


Structure, species composition, and soil properties of a dry tropical forest in Rajasthan Western India, were examined by establishment of 25 plots. The forest was characterized by a relatively low canopy and a large number of small-diameter trees. Mean canopy height for this forest was 10 m and stands contained an average of 995 stems ha-1 (= 3.0 cm DBH); 52% of those stems were smaller than 10 cm DBH. The total basal area was 46.35 m2ha-1, of which Tectona grandis L. contributed 48%. The forest showed high species diversity of trees. 50 tree species (= 3.0 cm DBH) from 29 families were identified in the 25 sampling plots. T. grandis (20.81%) and Butea monosperma (9%) were the dominant and subdominant species in terms of importance value. The mean tree species diversity indices for the plots were 1.08 for Shannon diversity index (H´), 0.71 for equitability index (J´) and 5.57 for species richness index (S´), all of which strongly declined with the increase of importance value of the dominant, T. grandis. Measures of soil nutrients indicated low fertility, extreme heterogeneity. Regression analysis showed that stem density and the dominant tree height were significantly correlated with soil pH. There was a significant positive relationship between species diversity index and soil available P, exchangeable K+, Ca2+ (all p values < 0.001) and a negative relationship with N, C, C:N and C:P ratio. The results suggest that soil properties are major factors influencing forest composition and structure within the dry tropical forest in Rajasthan.


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  • J. I. Nirmal Kumar
  • Kanti Patel
  • Rita N. Kumar
  • Rohit Bhoi Kumar
  • J. I. Nirmal Kumar
  • Kanti Patel
  • Rita N. Kumar
  • Rohit Bhoi Kumar